Dr-Nina Bhardwaj

Vaccine Responses Can Be Improved By Manipulating Immune System

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Nina Bhardwaj

Dr. Bhardwaj

Nina Bhardwaj MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) and Urology
Tisch Cancer Institute
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York, NY

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What types of cancer may be amenable to this vaccine?

Response: The goal was to determine if vaccine responses could be improved by increasing special white cell numbers, namely dendritic cells, which are key for jumpstarting an immune response.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? 

Response: We found that the agent flt3-L mobilized these dendritic cells which help to improve the vaccine’s ability to prime the immune system. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: That vaccines can be improved by manipulating the immune system – such that they can access key constituents more readily – and which results in a better immune response. By adding these agents, it may be possible to improve many vaccine formulations in the future.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: It would be interesting to test the combination of this type of vaccine with approved immunooncology agents in patients with advanced cancers to see if they add any benefit.

Disclosures: I am on the advisory board of a number of companies, am a member of the CITN which funded this study and also use in other trials products made by Oncovir and Celldex.


Bhardwaj, N., Friedlander, P.A., Pavlick, A.C. et al. Flt3 ligand augments immune responses to anti-DEC-205-NY-ESO-1 vaccine through expansion of dendritic cell subsets. Nat Cancer (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43018-020-00143-y 


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Last Updated on November 19, 2020 by Marie Benz MD FAAD